Visualizing Your Digital Audience

We’ve become desensitized to millions of views and thousands of likes. Let’s visualize the large audiences of influencers on YouTube, TikTok and other social media platforms. Jack from LimeLink found most of the crowd pictures.

I get amazed looking at the engagement some people are getting on social media nowadays. TikTok especially has surprised me how often a new star is born from a stranger to the public eye, to getting 40+ million views and over a million likes.

An influencer who surprises me is Mr. Beast. If you’ve heard his story, you know that he’s earned his way to the top and built his online presence through sheer perseverance, ingenuity, and hard work. Even after reaching uncharted heights, he continues to raise the bar on YouTube and social media by pioneering creative and innovative content. He even spreads his influence on the business side as well as philanthropy.

It’s not common that a YouTube video (that is not a music video) gets over 70 million views. Mr. Beast was able to get that many plays on his video titled “Surviving 24 Hours Straight In A Desert“. That wasn’t too shocking considering his other videos are averaging over 40 million views.

Jimmy Donaldson, AKA Mr. Beast

I should note that the 70 million views metric shown on YouTube doesn’t mean that 70 million people watched that video. It means that the video was clicked on and watch 70 million times—views vs viewers. The video could’ve been rewatched by the same person multiple times, or it also could’ve been watched by ten people sharing one screen.

The rule of thumb is that usually, you get more people rewatching your videos than you get people sharing a screen. This means that a good amount of the listed views on a YouTube video are people who have rewatched it, even if you take into account the people who have shared a screen. Unique viewers, however, do vary considerably based on many factors such as the category of the video, audience, video duration, etc.

Now that we’ve identified that a significant portion of views is the same people rewatching, that doesn’t diminish the fact that so many people are engaging with Mr. Beast’s content. Let’s use his 70 million view video as an example. If we subtract an exaggerated 30 million views (as the rewatches), that still leaves his video with 40 million unique viewers. That’s 40 million different people. Given the type of content he produces, there is no way that over 50% of his views are rewatches. But for the sake of the argument, we will use an exaggerated 57% rewatches on his video.

It’s also important to note that a viewer’s attention is appraised on their general engagement and loyalty to the brand, and how long you can hold their attention. This determines how willing they are to buy a product you offer them, hence how willing companies are to partner with you. It explains why some YouTubers are paid more than others despite having the same amount of views and engagement.

Charli D’amelio amassed 50 million followers in only 7 months. Today, she’s the most followed person on TikTok with 114 million.

Without getting too technical, CPM is what measures your content’s profitability. It’s a metric that determines the cost that advertisers are willing to spend on placing their ads in your content. Your CPM varies by the type of content you post as well as other factors. If you’re an influencer or marketer and don’t fully understand CPM now’s a perfect time. It’s probably the most important metric for your business.

I think we’ve become desensitized to how big an audience of 100,000 is, let alone 40 million. Getting 40 million lifetime views doesn’t compare to performing live, even if it’s digitally, but it’s still impressive nonetheless. I thought it would be interesting to visualize what crowds of this magnitude looks like.

The next time you post on Instagram or Twitter, use this to visualize your audience, it’s probably bigger than you think. This could also help better understand why brands are willing to pay influencers millions of dollars for advertising.

50 people

100 People

250 People

500 People

1,000 People

3,000 People

10,000 People

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

20,000 People

50,000 People

Six60 Perform at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand

100,000 People

Around 500,000 People

1 Million People

Sporting events start to cap at around 100,000 people and some concerts have been so large that it’s difficult to capture the audience in a picture—even though the largest recorded concert is below 5 million in attendance.

You will have to use your imagination for the > 40 million people who clicked and watched Mr. Beasts’ video. Just think of the entire population of Spain or South Korea for reference.

The next time you watch a TikTok video or see an Instagram post, think if the creator would be able to hold their audience’s attention for a longer period? Is their fanbase loyal? Or is it just their 15 minutes of fame?

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”

Andy Warhol